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Senator Proposes That Wyoming Cut Ties With OSHA

A Casper lawmaker is pushing the idea of the state ending its partnership with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and creating its own health and safety inspection program.  

The discussion comes as OSHA fines will increase 80 percent following the passage of federal legislation. Casper Senator Charles Scott says federal OSHA regulations hurt efforts to improve workplace safety in the state.

“I think the federal requirements are obstructing our efforts to have a safer workplace. I think you could make a pretty good case that maybe the smart thing to do is to cut our ties with the feds.”

The legislature’s Joint Labor and Health Committee voted to support a bill that would align Wyoming’s fines with the new federal requirements. Scott says he will take his idea to develop a state-run OSHA program to the full legislature. 

A Devon Energy official says he backs Scott’s idea, but the AFL-CIO’s Kim Floyd worries that the plan would decrease the number of inspectors in the state. Scott told him that he intends to increase inspectors and inspections.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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